The global position of ferrochrome
Elements influencing the global demand for and pricing of ferrochrome
- Global economic conditions
- Exchange rates
- Stainless steel demand
- Growth of Chinese ferrochrome industry
- Chrome ore exports
90% of the ferrochrome produced is used in stainless steel and specialty steels
Ferrochrome production and its role in stainless steel
Produced by high-temperature reduction (smelting) of chromite, ferrochrome contains iron, chrome, minor amounts of carbon and silicon, and impurities such as sulphur, phosphorous and titanium.
Chrome is a metallurgical marvel. It brings critical properties to the metals with which it is alloyed. Add it to carbon steel in the form of ferrochrome and the steel becomes ‘stainless’ – corrosion resistant, mechanically strong, heat resistant, hard wearing, shiny and glamorous. Stainless steel is used almost everywhere in modern life from nuclear reactors to exhaust pipes, architecture, kitchenware and a host of other applications.
Specialty steels produced for applications such as tools, injection moulds, camshafts, etc also derive the high mechanical strength, hardness and heat-resistance required from their chrome content.